Posted on

LMU – 175 Unlocking the Crucial Role of Vitamin E in Pregnancy Success


LMU – 175 Unlocking the Crucial Role of Vitamin E in Pregnancy Success

Sources: Multiple Peer-reviewed Medical and Scientific Journals

Lifestyle Medicine Update (October 1, 2020)


In the intricate journey of pregnancy, the significance of vitamin E, specifically alpha-tocopherol, has recently come to the forefront. Over the past decade, a series of compelling studies has underscored the pivotal role that this essential nutrient plays in ensuring a successful pregnancy. In this article, we will delve into the science behind vitamin E and its profound impact on the various stages of pregnancy.

The Link Between Vitamin E and Miscarriage

In a groundbreaking study from 2015, researchers illuminated a concerning association between vitamin E deficiency and the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester of pregnancy. Women with vitamin E blood levels below 12 umol/L faced nearly double the risk of experiencing a miscarriage, highlighting the critical role of this nutrient during early pregnancy[^1^].

The Mechanisms Behind Vitamin E’s Role

Understanding why vitamin E is indispensable during pregnancy requires a closer look at the mechanisms it influences. Studies have revealed that vitamin E serves as a linchpin for several vital functions in the endometrium during pregnancy[^2^]. Particularly in the first trimester, vitamin E orchestrates the synthesis of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Vascular Endothelial-Derived Growth Factor (VEGF). These factors are instrumental in fostering the growth of new blood vessels within the endometrium, creating an optimal environment for the embryo’s implantation. Additionally, vitamin E plays a pivotal role in modulating key aspects of immune function, reducing the risk of the mother’s body rejecting the developing embryo.

Vitamin E and Fetal Brain Development

The significance of vitamin E extends beyond the mother’s well-being, encompassing the development of the growing fetus. Vitamin E deficiency can lead to lipid peroxidation, which disrupts normal fetal brain development and the crucial process of methylation[^3^]. Just as folic acid is essential to prevent neural tube defects, vitamin E ensures that the fetus receives an adequate supply of choline for methylation reactions. This deficiency not only puts the fetus at risk for neural tube and brain-related issues but also elevates free radical damage in the fetal brain and body.

Fetal Growth, Lung Development, and Asthma Risk

A study in 2008 unveiled a compelling correlation between a mother’s vitamin E blood levels and fetal growth, as well as lung development[^4^]. Higher vitamin E levels were associated with increased fetal growth and improved lung development in utero. Furthermore, five years after birth, children born to mothers with low vitamin E blood levels during the first trimester exhibited a higher predisposition to asthma and scored lower on respiratory function tests.

The Alarming Reality of Vitamin E Deficiency

As evidence accumulates, it becomes increasingly apparent that maintaining adequate vitamin E levels is crucial for a successful pregnancy. Shockingly, reports suggest that approximately 96% of American women fail to meet recommended daily intake levels for vitamin E[^5^]. This stark reality underscores the urgency for women planning to conceive or already pregnant to undergo a vitamin E blood test to ensure their levels exceed 12 umol/L (5.5-18.0 mg/L).

Recognizing the Rarity of Severe Vitamin E Deficiency

While vitamin E deficiency remains rare in modern society, individuals with malabsorption issues related to intestinal ailments are most vulnerable[^6^]. However, findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III) revealed that about one-third of all American participants had blood concentrations of vitamin E (α-tocopherol) below 20 μmol/L, a value historically associated with decreased cardiovascular disease risk.

Conclusion: Empowering Pregnancy with Vitamin E

In conclusion, vitamin E emerges as a potent ally in ensuring a successful pregnancy journey. Its multifaceted roles in preventing miscarriage, promoting fetal brain and lung development, and mitigating asthma risk underscore its importance. With a significant portion of women failing to meet recommended vitamin E intake levels, requesting a vitamin E blood test (alpha-tocopherol) becomes imperative for those planning to conceive or already pregnant. In striving for healthy pregnancies, vitamin E stands as a powerful safeguard for both mothers and their precious unborn children.


  1. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015; 101(2):294.                                                                                                                                                            [Read more](
  2. PubMed. 2012; 22819759.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              [
  3. Nature Scientific Reports. 2020; 10(1):1-10.                                                                                                                                                                                          [Read more](
  4. PubMed. 2010; 20435859.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [Read more](
  5. Health and Science. 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [Read more](
  6. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University.                                                                                                                                                                              [Read more](
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

Share this: